Nov. 13, 2007
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Fri., Nov. 16 at Stanford, Avery Aquatic Center, Stanford, Calif. 7 p.m.
BEAR BITES: The No. 1-ranked California men's water polo team (24-2, 7-0) will be looking to avenge one its two losses this season when the Golden Bears travel to Stanford to face the No. 4-ranked Cardinal (15-6, 4-3) Friday at 7 p.m. at the Avery Aquatic Center. Cal, which clinched the No. 1-seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament (hosted Nov. 23-25 at Spieker Aquatics Complex) with its 10-9 victory over USC last week, has now won nine-straight matches since falling to Stanford, 10-9 in sudden-death overtime, Oct. 14 in the semifinals of the SoCal Tournament in Irvine. The Bears will also be looking to go undefeated in MPSF play for the first time since 1992 when they went on to win the NCAA title with a 31-0 record. As a result of his play against USC, senior Michael Sharf was named MPSF Player of the Week for the second time this season. Sharf, a 6-3, 212-pound All-American from Orinda, Calif., paced Cal with three goals, including two goals in the fourth period when the Bears outscored the Trojans, 3-2. Sharf leads Cal with 80 goals in 24 matches, is second in the MPSF with 3.33 goals per game, and has led the Bears in scoring in 18 of 26 matches. He was this season's first MPSF POW recipient on Sept. 4 when he notched 18 goals in four matches at the Navy Open in Annapolis, Md. It is the second MPSF POW selection in the last two weeks for the Bears as sophomore attacker Spencer Warden was the Nov. 5 recipient. Senior attacker Vladislav Andreyev was the conference player of the week on Oct. 8. In the cage, Cal is led by senior All-American Mark Sheredy, who had 11 saves in the NorCal Open championship match versus USC and blocked a five-meter penalty shot in the semifinals against UCLA. Sheredy, who also notched 11 saves in the UCLA victory at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center on Oct. 20 and had 10 saves Saturday versus USC, has 182 saves in 21 matches. As a team, the Bears lead the MPSF with 12.81 goals per game, and are third in limiting opponents to 6.19 goals per game.
NOTING STANFORD: No. 4 Stanford (15-6, 4-3), coached by John Vargas (sixth year), is tied for fourth in the MPSF after defeating UC Irvine (8-6) and Santa Clara (13-6) last weekend. The Cardinal, on a season-high six-match win streak, are led by sophomore Sage Wright's 31 goals. In the only match-up between the Bay Area rivals this year, Stanford tipped Cal, 10-9 in sudden-death overtime on Ryan Fortune's match-winner in the Oct. 14 semifinals of the SoCal Open. Last season, the Bears were 1-1 versus the Cardinal, winning 10-9 in the semifinals of the 2006 NorCal Open at Stanford, before losing, 11-9, in an MPSF match-up at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Cal and Stanford are the nation's two most successful water polo programs, with the Bears winning 12 NCAA titles and the Cardinal winning 10. The two teams have met each other seven times in the NCAA final (Stanford 4, Cal 3).
CAL CAPTURES REMATCH OF 2006 NCAA TITLE TILT: In a battle between the top two teams in collegiate water polo and a repeat of the 2006 NCAA title match, Cal defeated No. 2-ranked USC, 10-9, last Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Sharf scored two of his team-high three goals in the fourth period as Cal outscored USC, 3-2, in the final eight minutes. The Bears had defeated the Trojans, 7-6, in last year's NCAA championship, but earlier this year USC had topped Cal, 9-8, in the Sept. 16 final of the NorCal Tournament in Berkeley. Last season, the Bears fell to the Trojans three times during the regular season, but rebounded to win 6-5 during the 2006 MPSF Tournament final, and then 7-6 in the 2006 NCAA Championship. Along with Sharf's three goals Saturday, sophomore Thomas Pearson and senior Zac Monsees added two goals apiece, and Sheredy recorded 10 saves. Senior Jeff Tyrrell, Andreyev and junior Frank Reynolds also notched goals for the Bears, while Monsees had a team-high three assists, Pearson forced three ejections and senior Adam Haley finished with a team-best four steals.
THE BEARS' ALL-AMERICAN LOOK: The Bears feature five returning All-America standouts from last season's national championship squad - seniors Sheredy, Sharf, Tyrrell and Haley, and sophomore Warden. Cal also showcases seniors Monsees and Mike Hayes, who now have 86 and 54 career goals, respectively; and Reynolds, a key contributor last season who notched a goal against USC in the NCAA title match. Sheredy, a first-team All-American and 2006 NCAA Tournament MVP, returns to man the goal, while Sharf, a 2006 honorable mention All-American, is Cal's top returning scorer with 48 goals last season (181 career goals). The Bears also return Tyrrell, a third-team All-American who knocked in the match-winning goal against USC in the national championship (41 goals in 2006, 103 career goals); Haley, a HM All-American and one of Cal's best two-meter defenders; and Warden, a talented driver and defender who was an HM All-American and the 2006 MPSF and Daily Californian Newcomer of the Year.
HEAD COACH Kirk Everist: A 2004 inductee into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame, Kirk Everist is in his sixth year, owning a 136-38 mark (.782) after leading the Bears to a 31-4 mark and the program's 12th NCAA crown in 2006. Cal also won the MPSF title last season and Everist was named Division I Coach of the Year. In 2002, he was selected MPSF Coach of the Year after guiding his alma mater to the league tournament title and the Bears' first NCAA appearance since 1995 in his inaugural year as head coach. A 1990 Cal graduate, Everist led the Bears to consecutive national championships in 1987 and 1988, earning All-American status three straight seasons (1986-88) and NCAA Player of the Year honors in 1988. He went on to play for the USA National Team for nine years (1988-96) and competed in the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Everist's staff includes associate head coach Boyd Lachance, who is in his sixth season, and Sean Nolan, a 2000 USA Olympian, who is in his third season. Nolan was a three-time All-American at Cal, helping the Bears to the 1991 and 1992 NCAA titles
DID YOU KNOW? Since its charter season in 1918, Cal has won an NCAA-record 12 national titles including twice winning three NCAA crowns in-a-row (1973-75, 1990-92). The Bears have had 11 different players earn National Player of the Year honors, including current head coach Kirk Everist in 1988. From 1990-92, Cal amassed a record of 86-2 for a .977 winning percentage.
EXTRA BEAR NOTES: When Cal defeated UCLA, 8-7, Oct. 20 at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center, it was first time the Bears had defeated the Bruins at the Rose Bowl since Oct. 25, 1997 (9-8 in overtime)...Sharf scored the match-winning goal with 21 seconds left in the contest...On Oct. 14, Warden scored the match-winner against UCLA with 25 seconds left in an 8-7 win over the Bruins in the third-place match of the SoCal Open in Irvine...On Nov. 2, Hayes scored a goal with two seconds left in regulation against UC Irvine, sending the match into overtime where Haley scored the 11-10 match-winner with 1:15 left in the second, three-minute overtime period...in 2006, Cal had 10 players selected to the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-America Team, which tied the 1974 squad for the most All-Americans in a single year...former Cal standout John Mann, was featured in the August 6 issue of Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd after winning the 2006 Peter J. Cutino Award as the nation's top collegiate water polo player...Mann is the first Bear to earn the prestigious award named after the former Cal coaching legend who won eight NCAA titles...Mann went on to help the USA National Team to a gold medal at this summer's PanAm Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, qualifying Team USA for the 2008 Beijing Olympics...highlights of the Bears' 2006 NCAA championship victory can be viewed on CalBears.com by going to the Cal men's water polo page.
INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES:
Vladislav Andreyev: Senior attacker has 29 goals in 21 matches, including goals against UCSB and USC during the NorCal Open, and goals against Long Beach State and Stanford at the SoCal Open...was named the Oct. 8 MPSF Co-Player of the Week, scoring 12 goals Oct. 5-6 versus Harvard, Air Force and UC Davis...has 16 assists, 17 steals, five ejections earned and six field blocks... was a 2006 Community College All-American at Diablo Valley College.
Trent Calder: Junior center and team captain has scored 25 goals in 23 matches and leads the squad with 13 field blocks...has 22 steals and 16 ejections earned...notched three goals against Pacific Sept. 27, scored a goal against UCLA in the NorCal Open semifinal...has 55 career goals.
Brian Dudley: Redshirt freshman utility man has scored 15 goals in 24 matches, including goals against Air Force and UCLA in the NorCal Open, and a goal versus UCLA in the SoCal Open...scored three goals Sunday versus UC Santa Cruz...is third on the team with 16 ejections earned, and has 19 steals, five assists and two field blocks...hails from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Adam Haley: Senior center back and team captain leads the Bears with 39 steals and has 21 assists, eight ejections earned and eight field blocks...scored the match-winner with 1:15 left in the second overtime period versus UC Irvine Nov. 2...tallied four goals during the NorCal Open, including two goals in the final match versus USC.
Mike Hayes: Senior attacker is third on the team with 26 assists, and owns 22 steals, six ejections earned and six field blocks...scored a goal with two seconds left in regulation in Cal's 11-10 overtime victory over UC Irvine Nov. 2...has 10 goals in 25 matches this season, and owns 54 career goals.
Zac Monsees: Senior attacker has 26 goals in 25 matches, including seven goals during the NorCal Open...had a team-high four goals in the NorCal Open semifinal victory over No. 3 UCLA...leads the team with 43 assists and has 26 steals, 10 field blocks and 10 ejections earned...owns 86 career goals.
Frank Reynolds: Junior attacker has 26 assists, 17 goals in 25 matches, 15 steals, eight ejections earned and a field block...scored five goals at the SoCal Open...tallied a goal against USC last Saturday and in the 2006 NCAA title match.
Michael Sharf: Senior attacker leads the Bears with 80 goals in 24 matches and is second in the MPSF with 3.33 goals per game...was the Nov.12 Player of the Week with three goals last Saturday versus USC, and the Sept. 4 MPSF Co-Player of the Week with 18 goals in four matches at the Navy Open...tallied six goals at the SoCal Open, including a four goals versus Stanford...scored the winning goal with 21 seconds left in Cal's 8-7 victory over UCLA Oct. 20...has led the Bears in scoring in 18 of 26 matches...has 26 ejections earned, 26 assists, 29 steals and six field blocks...owns 181 career goals.
Mark Sheredy: Senior goalie and team captain has 182 saves in 21 matches (8.67 saves per game)...had 10 saves Nov. 10 versus USC...recorded a season-high 12 blocks Sept. 8 at Pacific, and tallied 11 saves in the NorCal Open final against USC...has blocked three five-meter penalty shots, including a penalty shot against UCLA in the NorCal Open semifinal...had 40 saves in the four NorCal Open matches...has tallied 380 saves in 46 career matches (8.26 saves per match).
Jeff Tyrrell: Senior utility man is second on the team with 42 goals in 25 matches (1.68 goals per game, 10th in the MPSF)...scored five goals with a team-high six assists and four steals versus Pacific Sept. 27...led Cal with four goals against Air Force Sept. 15, and scored six goals in the four NorCal Open matches...had a team-high four goals versus UCLA in the SoCal Open third-place match...has 33 assists, 25 steals, 16 ejections earned and six field blocks...has recorded 103 career goals.
Spencer Warden: Sophomore attacker was Nov. 5 MPSF Co-Player of the Week with three goals, six assists and five steals versus UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara...scored the winning goal versus UCLA with 25 seconds left in the SoCal Open third-place match Oct. 14...had six goals, five steals, three ejections earned and two field blocks at the SoCal Open...is second on the team with 34 steals and has 22 goals in only 18 matches...also has 20 assists, 11 ejections earned and seven field blocks.